By Kate Riley May 5, 2011

It’s not Thanksgiving, it’s Cinco de Mayo, but today I am thankful for a few things, and I thought you should know.   

I am thankful for my five year old boy, because only he can explain to me the significance of the pink ninja hostage situation happening atop this Jenga skyscraper.

little boy tower


I am thankful for oranges because they look pretty on trees, and they are a key ingredient in one of my favorite cakes. You can find my recipe for orange cake in The Lettered Cottage E-zine, including the easy trick for making those fancy shmancy curls with orange peels.  

orange cake slices


I am thankful for the miracle of my garden in bloom which reminds me everyday I am so blessed. kates garden


kates garden 2

I am thankful for that young college kid that showed up on my door, twisted my arm, and made me sign up for a bimonthly delivery of local organic produce, because now I really love beets. 

I used to think beets grew in cans, which is why I never ate them.  Turns out, they grow in the ground, and when cooked, they have a wonderful earthy flavor.  I’m obsessed with serving them over mixed greens with goat cheese.  Obsessed.  And I’m quite sure I could dye cloth with the juice, which is why I like them even more. 

fresh farm box


At this moment, having visited the archives, I am very thankful for babies with boxes. 


And the end of the oak trim and carpet on those stairs.


I am thankful today for the Mother’s Day gift I bought for myself from The Vintage Pearl.   ”It’s perfect, how thoughtful!” I keep repeating to myself. 

vp bracelet


While on the subject, I am so thankful for these sponsors:


The smartest, most affordable way to hire your own decorator:

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The best solution for upgrading your builder mirror:



All of your vinyl and canvas art needs found here:

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For all questions related to your wardrobe, Jennifer to the rescue:

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The best designs for modern stencils:

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Beautiful custom hand stamped jewelry:

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For the art of organizing your home:

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For all your personalized stationery and invitation needs:


Your source for all things vintage:

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I am also thankful for these fine bloggers who referred a lot of traffic my way this past month.  If you haven’t visited these ladies (or sites) you should, they all inspire me. 

With a margarita in hand on this Cinco de Mayo, I toast to you.


Thrifty Decor Chick

The Lettered Cottage

Apartment Therapy

Nesting Place

320 Sycamore

Hooked on Houses

The Inspired Room

Better After

One Pretty Thing

Miss Mustard Seed

My Sweet Savannah

Bower Power

The Art of Doing Stuff

Southern Hospitality

Isabella & Max Rooms


Now to celebrate this holiday with some fish tacos and that margarita. 

Adios amigos. 




  1. OMG, that is the cutest giggle ever. Don’t you wish such simple things as throwing a box down the stairs could still make us laugh. Oh wait…it did! Thanks for the show.

  2. Hi Kate,

    I´m from Portugal i simply love your blog, and this post remind me of my childrens too.
    It’s so great to see our childrens laughing just for a simple box.
    A big hug to you and to your family.

  3. Cute!! Your garden is looking lovely and I really wish that same kid would come to my house offering organic produce!! I guess Chicago is probably out of his route zone – eh, Ill have to wait to plant our own. 1 week and counting!

  4. Thanks again for contributing your awesome recipe to our e-zine, Kate!
    You’re the best!


  5. Who needs toys? Baby wipes boxes are all you neeed!! That video is so darn cute…how can you not smile watching that? Happy cinco (seis now) de mayo to you!

  6. 1. Your son’s tower looks very much like towers my eleven year old brother still builds! Love it!
    2. I love your dishes! I have the bed spread that matches it!
    3. Love your blog!

  7. beautiful garden! Can you tell me what flowering plant that is hanging over the wall in the first pic of the garden? It’s exactly what I’m looking for to edge my herb garden wall!

  8. That video was priceless thanks for sharing and for the smile this morning :)

  9. Thanks for that recipe Kate. I will be making it this weekend. That is an awesome e-zine. I have to say I am thankful for Centsational Girl and all the other blogs. I read. I’ve had a hard couple of years and I’ve had so much fun doing projects and planning new things to do. Thanks for all your hard work!!!

    Kate, have you ever thought about creating a You Tube channel and doing how-to video’s? Your instructions are always really good but I would love to see you do an actual project.

  10. I also bought myself a mother’s day present from the vintage pearl! I love their jewelery!!!

  11. I just started to love beets as well – my favorite way to prepare them: slice roasted beets thinly and fan on a plate (red and gold beets are really pretty), sprinkle with crumbled feta and thinly sliced mint, top with an orange/citrus vinegrette (fresh orange juice is best).

  12. I am with you. I absolutely LOVE my Farm Fresh to You delivery. I think I have tried about 5 different versions of the delivery- All veggies, all fruit, The Valley Box, the LA box.. they are all fabulous! (I live in Orange County.)

  13. The video is priceless! Thanks for sharing and Happy Mother’s Day.

  14. Love the braclet …. we have the same initials in our family


    Just finished painting our dining room and recovering the chairs … thanks for inspiring me!

  15. I’m very intrigue: ¿what did you celebrate on 5 de mayo? Is this an american holiday? where does it come from? Is about to say thanks?

  16. We love your son’s Jenga tower – it looks like he had hours of fun setting up that hostage situation:) Made our whole family chuckle as we sit on the couch with our laptops. Thanks for sharing.

  17. I miss when boxes were great entertainment!!!

    Gracias por tu Blog! Muchas Felicidades para Cinco De Mayo.

    Thanks for your blog and much happiness for Cinco de Mayo (ok Sies do Mayo) now. lol

  18. Great post! may I ask what kind of plant that is? The climber with green foliage and big white flowers that look like dogwood blooms?

  19. How many cupcakes does the Orange Cake recipe make? What size loaf pan do you recommend? Thanks!

  20. Oh Kate,
    That video is priceless! What a precious laugh. I just want to squeeze him. :)
    Happy Mother’s Day, friend.

  21. Hello Kate,
    Wanted to let you know that I linked your FAB blog to my latest post..You are my diy god with a little “g” LOL! Seriously tho! Thank you for the inspiration!

    Delighted Momma

  22. Did you know that those beet greens, particularly the little new leaves, are DELICIOUS steamed and drizzled with butter, olive oil, sesame seed oil or a bit of vinagrette? Took me years to love beets but I’ve always loved the greens!

  23. Thanks for sharing the wonderful video. My son loves boxes too, especially climbing into them. I love how the simple things can bring lots of laughter & joy. Happy Mother’s Day!

  24. Oops Sorry Kate! I posted this against the wrong Blog entry … so here it is again;

    Got to tell you – loved this post! “Beets” as you call them are referred to as Beetroot here in the land of Oz. We eat these on Sandwiches, Salad and particularly Hamburgers! There is a saying in Australia that “it’s not an Aussie Hamburger without Beetroot”. We have travelled to the States allot over the years and it never ceases to amaze me when I ask for beetroot on my burger – oh the looks we get!

    A typical “Aussie” burger is made of:

    Onions – Fried
    Carrot – grated
    Beetroot !!!!
    Tomato or BBQ Sauce (better with BBQ)

    Give it a shot – it’s the best!

    P.S Huge fan … read your blog everyday all the way over here in oz!

  25. P.P.S … You must must must try this and tell me what you thought! We gernally use the beets in a can cause they have a sweet flavour ..

  26. I would love to try the orange cake- our orange tree is dripping with delicious oranges right now!! But, when I follow the link, I get the main page of the Lettered Cottage and can’t find a recipe link or the recipe anywhere! Please help! =)

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